Community Buildings

d3associates has a significant track record in the effective delivery of community building projects, and we believe that our combination of funding, design, project management skills and community engagement expertise contributes significantly to this success.

We are a multi-disciplinary team providing stakeholder consultation, architectural design, building services, renewable energy and project management services to support community groups and third sector organisations to effectively manage their buildings.

We take the time to listen and understand your requirements and provide independent practical solutions, tailored to your objectives.  We work closely with community groups from feasibility stage (community consultation, funding and business plan development) to design and construction; providing independent advice to help develop sustainable solutions and build capacity.

We can guide you through the feasibility, design and project management of new build or refurbishment projects, including planning, procurement and construction, working with local contractors to deliver best value for your community.


feasibility studies

The aim of a feasibility study is to objectively assess the viability of a project, to consider the strengths and weaknesses of the proposal to allow community groups to make informed decisions. These are often supported by an outline business case setting out the financial implications

d3associates has significant expertise and experience in assisting groups develop and deliver services that benefit the local community. We deliver projects by turning ideas into reality, whether it’s improved use of available space, a building extension or a new community facility.

market research and consultation

Market Research and Consultation is used to assess the current usage, potential user demand and the centre’s ability to attract new activities, in order to meet community needs and generate new sources of income. Appropriate consultation is a key requirement when applying for future funding to ensure that the centre is addressing the identified needs of the local community.

building condition survey

A Building Condition Survey is a systematic property survey noting the forms of construction and the state of repair of the property. The survey contributes to effective building maintenance by identifying the repair and renewal requirements along with associated costs. These are prioritised over the short, medium and long term allowing community groups to plan work accordingly.

options appraisal

An Options Appraisal starts with considering the opportunities and limitations presented by the current layout, condition and size of the building. Design option layouts provide potential alternatives to improve the building to better deliver services and activities. The increased income against expected outlay for each option is determined in order to find the most viable and value for money solution.

capacity building

We can work closely with community groups to assist in developing the capacity and governance of the Management Committee ensuring that they fully understand their responsibilities for running the building and are equipped with the skills to do so.  This may involve assisting in the registration of an appropriate legal structure for the group that provides protection for the management committee through limited liability.


Legislation is constantly changing and inevitably the risk to building users and managers grows to ensure facilities operate safely and efficiently and comply with current legislation.

Key areas where we can assist with compliance include health & safety, access, environment, fire safety, food and water hygiene.

architectural design

d3associates multi-disciplinary team approach to developing community buildings provides  architectural design, structural engineering and building services design to respond efficiently to the brief.

We can provide both traditional and contemporary designs which are responsive to our clients’ needs are innovative and combine practicality and flair; underpinned by environmental sustainability maximising space and providing a cost effective solution

Projects follow the RIBA Plan of Work which organises the process of briefing, designing, constructing, maintaining and operating buildings. In addition, we are able to advise clients on the professional expertise required for each project, as well as alternative procurement routes, through tendering and construction to completion and handing over the building.

The in-house team combines the best qualities of a small innovative multi-disciplinary practice, with the experience and depth of knowledge of a larger office, enabling us to be pro-active and provide our clients with an integrated approach to architectural design and renewable energy.

funding support

We appreciate community groups usually need to submit funding or grant applications for feasibility studies, design work and the capital works. We have extensive experience in supporting the completion of bids and have recent success in submissions to the Big Lottery Fund Reaching Communities Buildings Programme.

project management

Project management is at the heart of our business. Our project managers have the skills and experience to successfully guide and develop projects through the feasibility, design and construction phases, to help deliver your project on time and to budget.

We advise on funding, delivery, programme, procurement and cost; to ensure that the projects are delivered efficiently. We recognise the importance of project management in the overall delivery of the project, and by working with recognised project management tools we strive to ensure that the appropriate outputs are achieved on time.

Our project management and delivery systems have been developed using both best practice and the underlying principles which drive the PRINCE2 process.

asset transfer

We can develop outline and full business plans which bring together the key aspects of our work. The plans set out the aims and objectives; detail the preferred business model; opportunities for income generation and revenue costs; anticipated capital and building maintenance costs; timescale; identification of target group audiences and marketing plans to raise awareness of the community buildings with their target audience(s). Opportunities for external funding will be explored, which will underpin the business case for future investment.

We have worked with many groups going through the asset transfer process from local authority control, and can assist in identifying how your building may be managed under a community asset transfer model to help secure the long term sustainability of the buildings and the services they provide.

energy efficiency

Energy is usually the greatest expenditure for a community group apart from staff costs. We undertake energy efficiency audits looking at the building fabric, heating installations, services and building management systems, to provide advice on ways to reduce bills. We can also undertake renewable energy options studies providing independent advice on opportunities to use alternative forms of energy to fossil fuels.

All the information generated above is used in developing a full business plan to take the project forward.

Case studies

Recent news


Supporting community buildings
managing community building